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How can Gastric Bypass Surgery Affect Type 2 Diabetes?

Question MarkOne of the most significant benefits of weight loss surgery is its ability to dramatically reduce, and even eliminate, health conditions that are related to severe obesity. High blood pressure, gastroesophageal reflux disease, sleep apnea, and depression are just some of the comorbid conditions that can be successfully addressed with bariatric surgery. What may not be widely known is that Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, is a comorbid condition that has been totally eliminated in many bariatric surgery patients – and it has been shown that gastric bypass procedures have helped up to 80% of patients eradicate Type 2 diabetes after surgery.

How does this happen? For starters, study after study has found that many types of bariatric surgery have yielded a dramatic reduction or long-lasting remission of Type 2 diabetes – after the procedure, blood sugar levels seem to normalize very quickly for many patients. Gastric bypass surgery works by changing the composition of the stomach and re-routing the intestines to give patients an earlier feeling of fullness after consuming less food, while limiting the amount of calories and nutrients absorbed by the body. Recent research has suggested that the alterations to the small intestine may be the key. The research found that, once gastric bypass surgery has been performed, the small intestine may be producing a molecule that aids glucose use by the body, which can ultimately decrease levels of blood sugar. This process may even begin before any weight has been lost. There is much more research that needs to be done in order to be certain, but it could ultimately explain why gastric bypass surgery has done such a remarkable job at helping patients reduce the serious threat Type 2 diabetes poses to their health.

It should be said that bariatric surgery has not been determined to be a Type 2 diabetes “cure” for everyone, and it is not the ideal solution for all individuals. However, it is generally accepted that severe obesity is a major risk factor for the condition, and a large number of severely obese patients who had bariatric surgery have been shown to have significantly reduced or eliminated Type 2 diabetes after the procedure.

If you have questions, or if you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your bariatric surgery options, please contact the New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery today.

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